Park Cities People alumna Claire St. Amant broke the news this afternoon. Which means I get to spend my evening policing the comments below this post. Oh, happy day.
This is getting ridiculous now. The countersuit does not stand a chance.
@Hp. “This” got ridiculous way before now, when the Romos sued the accuser and her family. They had their chance after the grand jury to help Ryan lie low, graduate, and find a college to play baseball. Successful attorney Aldous must think the countersuit does stand a chance, and I bet she knows a little more about both sides than you do.
I agree with @Disagree…..Ryan’s family should have left things alone after he got “off”. Go Aldous!
Only one winning anything here is the attorneys…
@girlmom – poor choice of a pun or quotations for ‘got “off”‘ Also, your statement shows you believe he got away with something, that he was a perpetrator and should have been punished. I am not saying he is completely innocent but what if the girl in question was coached or wanted to slant what happened to make her the victim. The ‘Go Aldous’ just cements the terrible comment. Really? Cheering on civil suits that have no true winner except as nfw stated the attorneys. This is just sad all around.
What happened to the statutory rape charge? He certainly did get away with something. Sixteen year old children of either sex are not considered capable of giving consent.
@Boy Parent. It wasn’t statutory rape because they were close enough in age. I recall hearing the gap was a few weeks or months shy of the three years needed for consent not to matter. If so, perhaps he checked her ID before climbing in the back seat.
@disagree- or the fact that Aldous is known for taking on bad cases and trying to do something. She got the ESD family less than 4x of the original price tag on the lawsuit.
I don’t know who is telling the truth in this case and at this point I don’t really care. But imagine being a juror in the civil trial. Aldous plays the recorded conversation between the guy and girl where she says, among other things “I didn’t want to” etc. and he responds “now you’re making me feel bad” and “you want me to get you a morning after pill?” (FYI, I am assuming the contents of this recording were reported accurately and in context – a dangerous assumption I know). Now imagine you hear graphic testimony from the girl’s doctor about the alleged injuries in her, um, private areas. Then imagine you receive instructions from the judge that you only need to reach a verdict based on the preponderance of the evidence (basically a 51/49 split in favor of the winner) rather than the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. You’re probably going to find for the girl.
The Romos put themselves into this pickle when they filed the lawsuit, yet they aren’t stupid people. I am guessing that either they have been poorly advised or they have a bombshell recording or email exchange of their own that proves some kind of extortion attempt on the part of the parents or serious lying by the girl.
All the lawyers involved must be delighted.
@HP, this is a civil case. The bar is low to prevail here, unlike the criminal case. Aldous probably does have a good case, and the Romo family should have dropped the issue after charges were dismissed. Now their kid risks a civil judgement which will forever cloud the question of innocence. Foolish, and the only winners will be the attorneys.
@Neal. I too can’t figure out why the Romos went this route. A commenter elsewhere suggested it was to discourage other accusers from coming forward, but I’d think the no-bill would be discouraging enough, not to mention that other victims, if any, now have a chance to come forward for the civil suit. Also, if the Romos have a great piece of evidence, as you speculate, they don’t need a lawsuit to reveal it unless they really want money. But they have two high-paying jobs and they allege that those they are suing did it because of financial difficulties. Yep, a mystery.
It doesn’t seem like that much of a mystery to me. Both sets of parents believe their kid, not the other kid. If Romo is innocent, and his parents believe he is, his life has been ruined or certainly derailed for some period of time, and the parents are casting about for a reason why someone would do this to him. I’m sure their lawsuit has an element of vengeance in it, but even more so, when they filed it, they were making a strong public statement that they “know” their boy is innocent. That goes a long way to restoring his good name among their community.
While the girl’s family has stated they wouldn’t have filed a civil suit if they weren’t provoked, we can’t know if they’re being truthful about that. Maybe they always intended to file a civil suit and the Romos knew that and that fed into their desire to get ahead of it, as well as giving them more conviction that the girl was in it for the money.
When I read that Charla Aldous is involved, it doesn’t make me think the accusation is more credible. It makes me think they are more aggressively going after money and bringing in the big guns to do it.
@dallas. It is good to hear from someone who sees things as the Romos do. I believe there were better ways to restore his good name. Publicizing his version of the girl’s sexual history made him and his parents look worse, not better, to many of us. The accuser’s defense of herself and her family was certain to bring to light additional evidence unfavorable to him, such as her doctor’s testimony, so they invited that, as well as a countersuit since she would need to hire an attorney anyway to defend against their suit.
He had his best level of PR at the no-bill, which many interpreted as his being innocent; he should have started his life from there. Instead he has chosen for the public to be reminded of all the stuff, true or not, that has been discussed here and elsewhere since Halloween, i.e., that he was a well-off, over-aged senior who risked a promising baseball career by breaking the HPISD rules for athletes in going to this particular concert, and who picked up an intoxicated minor and had unprotected sex with her in the back seat of his large SUV, barely avoiding committing statutory rape, and knew enough to offer to get her a morning-after pill, and who had friends who would threaten the accuser until she switched schools.
Time will tell whether the Romos took the correct action. As you point out, each side understandably believes their own kid. Yet only the accused and accuser were there in the back seat, so no parent can know for sure.
Both lawsuits are unfortunate decisions for the two teenagers involved. Seriously, nothing positive will come out of either side’s testimony against the other’s and the kids need to be given a chance to put this behind them. Each attorney will be doing their best to make both kids look morally bankrupt and sleazy; the kind of hateful stuff that will be taken in court and/or depositions will haunt them…no winners here. I wish all the parents would reconsider the wisdom of continuing with these suits.